Gonzo Morales – Gonzotown: Prologue- The End Of Gonzo Morales (Self-release)

Seemingly non-existent in the deep vortex of information that is the Internet, Gonzo Morales are a concept-driven five piece, from erm... Gonzotown. Their debut LP seems to arrive on the wind, a mere messenger of this blistering hellhole of insanity, a place steeped in fantastical folklore and placed somewhere in North America- presumably it's a little desert town somewhere near Texas, home to a few cacti and a lone tumbleweed. They've clearly put in a ridiculous amount of effort into conjuring up a backstory for this, the first part of what appears to be a rock saga.

Released Oct 7th, 2012 via self-release / By Larry Day
Gonzo Morales – Gonzotown: Prologue- The End Of Gonzo Morales (Self-release) Opening with a prelude of radio-static spoken word history of Gonzotown, describing the peculiar surroundings and culture, and introducing our hero, Morales. Backed by a menacing, agitated acoustic guitar, it does a swell job of setting the scene. The first real chunk of music we can set our ears upon is 'Beatencrippledburied', a riff-heavy rock number recalling early grunge and channelling the storytelling talent of Norse metal. There is waddling bass, thumping along behind squawking guitar welts and stuttering drums. Everything just sounds a little bit strange. Essentially, Gonzo Morales seem to have an epic tale of struggle and hardship on their hands, told through the medium of grungey prog-rock.

With almost choral backing vocals and a disgustingly dirty synth, 'Mortal Remains' furthers the weird-rock, but takes the pace back slightly. The guitars all swerve and slither amongst the bustling undergrowth Morales' vocalised inner monologue, creating a misty haze of rocky paranoia. The ominously titled 'The Mayor's Speech' struts in with applause and chugging guitar licks, potentially recorded live (or just injected with a blast of crowd noise), it's an evil-but-brief pep rally of darkness.

The enigmatic group, as shrouded in mystery as they are, present themselves as revivalist masters of potent storytelling. The bards of Gonzotown weave the stoner-rock of Queens Of The Stone Age, adding a jolt of dusty Americana and infusing the whole shebang with a murky dose of prog-grunge. It's all very familiar but tinged with something odd that you just can't put your finger on; when a band manages to create a concept album which not only tells a riveting story, but also delivers ruddy good music, it's tough not to imagine big things like record deals, sold-out shows and movie tie-ins. Let's pray for a swift episode two in the dangerous life of Gonzo Morales.